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June 2010

In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Recent Events
Beyond Waste in NYS
Drinking Water Testing
EPA CAFO Regulations
Green Building Video
EPA OWOW Annual Report
EPA OWOW Annual Report
Upstate Sprawl
Upcoming Events
Asset Management Tools Training
July 15th 8:30am - 1:30pm
Center for Regional Excellence
4039 Route 219, Salamanca, NY

This event will be a continuation of the June 15th Asset Management 101 training. It will provide an in-depth exploration of computer-based tools including EPA's CUPSS as well as EFC's Financial Dashboard and others. For more information contact Khris Dodson or call 315-443-8818. The registration fee is $25. Register here.

Save the Date!
September 27-28, 2010
Syracuse, NY
The 10th Annual Syracuse Center of Excellence
Symposium on Environmental & Energy Systems
"Restoring Sustainable, Healthy Communities"
More information to come soon.

Smart Management for Small Communities:
Practical Resources for Governance
October 6-7, 2010
Ellicottville, NY

For several years the EFC has hosted a three-day conference retreat in the Adirondacks for municipal leaders and technical assistants. Now, we are bringing the same great programming to South Western New York. Topics will include co-funding updates, training and seminars on water, wastewater and stormwater management, Smart Growth, succession planning, solid waste management, agriculture and water quality, and community engagement
. Program details are coming soon! Register here today!

Recent Events
Enhanced Water Utility Management
June 8, Hightstown, NJ;  June 9, Brooklawn, NJ; & June 10, Wharton NJ
These one-day courses were designed to provide small and medium-sized water systems with information about water system management and asset and financial planning in order to provide operations and public works managers with the knowledge to ensure long-term viability and system stability. Instruction was provided by Joe Durocher and Mike Kenney of the NJDEP's Bureau of Safe Drinking Water as well as Melissa Young and Sara Pesek of the EFC.
Asset Management 101
June 15, 2010
Center for Regional Excellence
Salamanca, NY

This event was designed to train municipal water and wastewater systems operators on the short-term and long-term benefits of incorporating asset management planning into their operations as a means to enabling long-term financial and operational sustainability. The program included information, training and tools appropriate for operators and public officials.The second part of the series will be held on July 15th. See "Upcoming Events" for more information.
New York State's Beyond Waste Plan
New York State's Beyond Waste Plan creates a new approach for New York State--a shift from focusing on "end-of-the-pipe" waste management techniques to looking "upstream" and more comprehensively at how materials that would otherwise become waste can be sustainably managed through the state's economy. This is called a sustainable materials economy.

This shift in waste management is central to the state's ability to adapt to an age of growing pressure to reduce demand for energy, reduce dependence on disposal, minimize emission of greenhouse gases and create green jobs.

Moving forward with these goals means increased attention to influencing product and packaging design to foster a system that minimizes waste and maximizes the use of recyclable materials. This will require the involvement of all stakeholders in the production and supply chain-product manufacturers, distributors, retailers, consumers, and government. It will also require increased investment in our recycling and distribution/reverse distribution infrastructure. Ultimately, it will result in decreased reliance on waste disposal facilities. For more information visit the NYDEC's Beyond Waste Website here.
Article Courtesy of NYS DEC
NYDEC logo
NYSERDA PON 1913:  Electric Power Transmission and Distribution (EPTD) Smart Grid Program

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced the availability of up to $16.5 million in funds to support projects that improve the reliability, efficiency, security, and overall performance of the electric power delivery system in New York State. Projects must demonstrate significant statewide public benefit and quantify all energy, environmental and economic impacts. Technology demonstrations and engineering studies are eligible for funding under this solicitation.

For Technical Questions please contact: John Love 1-866-NYSERDA   Ext. 3317. For more information on the program please visit http://www.nyserda.org/funding/1913pon.asp
Central New York Selected for US EPA Climate Showcase Communities Grant Award
The Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNYRPDB) has received nearly $500,000 from the US EPA Climate Showcase Communities program to provide financial and technical assistance over the next three years to nine local municipalities to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gases. 

Each year, the CNYRPDB will competitively award sub-grants to three local governments to support energy efficiency retrofits, measures to introduce alternative-fuel vehicles and fueling systems, vehicle travel reduction projects, or transportation efficiency improvements.

Those awarded sub-grants will be required to develop a climate action plan, apply for financial and technical assistance through programs offered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and receive training on no-cost evaluation tools such as ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager. The program will encourage these governments to adopt community planning controls to support GHG emission reductions from local residents, businesses, and institutions. To help them meet these requirements, CNYRPDB will provide technical assistance throughout the process and publish a Municipal Energy Planning Guide to highlight case studies of projects funded through the sub-grants.

Read the article on syracuse.com, or read the follow-up to the grant announcement
Drinking Water: New Alternative Testing
Methods Are Approved
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved 12 new, alternative (and optional) testing methods for use in measuring the levels of contaminants in drinking water and determining compliance with national primary drinking water regulations.  The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) authorizes EPA to streamline approval of the use of alternative testing methods through publication in the Federal Register.  This expedited approach provides public water systems, laboratories, and primacy agencies with more timely access to new measurement techniques and greater flexibility in the selection of analytical methods, thereby reducing monitoring costs while maintaining public health protection. 
These 12 alternative methods test for Dalapon; Radium-226; Uranium; Radioactive Cesium, Iodine and Gamma emitters; Tritium; and E. coli in drinking water.
You can view or download the complete text of the Federal Register final action and fact sheet from the Internet at: http://epa.gov/safewater/methods/analyticalmethods_expedited.html.
EPA Releases Implementation
Guidance on CAFO Regulations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a guidance document, "Implementation Guidance on CAFO Regulations - CAFOs That Discharge or Are Proposing to Discharge," that the Agency has developed to assist in implementing the 2008 Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) rule.  In 2008, EPA promulgated revised regulations for CAFOs to require that CAFOs that discharge or propose to discharge must seek coverage under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The rule also clarifies that a CAFO proposes to discharge if it is designed, constructed, operated, or maintained such that a discharge will occur.
This guidance will assist EPA and States with program implementation and assist CAFOs in evaluating whether they discharge or propose to discharge. The guidance document is available at http://www.epa.gov/npdes/caforule.
Video on Building Green:
A Success Story in Philadelphia
EPA's Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds (OWOW) announced the availability of a new 11-minute video, "Building Green: A Success Story in Philadelphia," which highlights innovative efforts by green builders in Philadelphia who are helping protect and restore environmental quality and beautify the city. By installing cisterns, green roofs, porous pavers, solar panels, and Energy Star appliances, the builders are capturing rainwater, reducing stormwater runoff, and saving energy. In the video, Howard Neukrug, Director of Philadelphia's Office of Watersheds, explains the importance of green stormwater infrastructure. The city is now offering incentives to builders and developers to use green techniques to help meet clean water and other environmental goals. 
The video is available on-line at www.epa.gov/owow/nps/lid/video.html. For more information, contact Patty Scott at scott.patricia@epa.gov
EPA's Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds (OWOW) Annual Report
OWOW's 2009 Annual Report is now available on-line at http://www.epa.gov/owow/org.html.   As one of the program offices within the Office of Water at EPA Headquarters, OWOW works in collaboration with other EPA offices, other federal agencies, state and local governments, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations to protect and restore the nation's marine and freshwater ecosystems. 
Handbook for Treatment Wetlands in the Agricultural/Urban and Suburban Environments
The EFC is supporting work at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, under the leadership of Dr. Rick Smardon, to develop several research projects into a step-by-step guidance for both surface and subsurface treatment wetland design. This project will provide "user friendly" guidance as to when and where surface and subsurface treatment wetlands can be used for agricultural runoff and urban CSO waste treatment. This handbook will include siting criteria, basic design criteria (such as hydrologic flow calculations and pollutant loadings) and how this translates into wetland treatment design specific to the CNY climate region.
The Upstate Sprawl Bomb

by Peter Fleischer on June 4, 2010
Peter Fleischer is the executive director of Empire State Future, a coalition of 39 business, civic, and environmental organizations advocating for smart growth across New York state.
Article originally posted to StreetBlog.org

The roughly 900,000 residents of Erie County float on a $1,100 per capita cushion largely provided by the taxpayers of downstate New York. According to Bruce Fisher, formerly the Deputy Erie County Executive and now the Director of Economic and Policy Studies at Buffalo State, Erie County takes in more than one billion dollars more in state revenue and transfer payments than it pays in taxes to New York State.

Buffalo, Erie County's largest city, needs that cash; it has been hemorrhaging jobs, residents and wealth for 50 years.  Erie County is now losing both city-dwellers and suburbanites, even as new, far-flung suburbs grow at the regional periphery, eating up acres and acres of what were forest, field, wetland and family farm while cannibalizing its denser neighboring cities and towns.
From 1951 to 2000, the population of metro Buffalo stayed flat, but land development sprawled out over an area three times as large.

It's a sad and ongoing story -- akin to a publicly supported pyramid scheme with way too few new arrivals, just the same sources of funds, divvied up among fewer and fewer folks, folks who are living on more and more land, less and less efficiently, all the while needing ever more infrastructure and services to float on the cushion to which they have become accustomed.

And Erie is hardly the only upstate county where the fiscally and demographically absurd passes for near normal. Places like Oneida County, Broome County, Onondaga County and Niagara County are living on the same fiscal edge, losing residents year after year, from both city and suburb.

And yet they sprawl. In Monroe County, a charming place with 700,000 people (half the population of the Bronx), the rate of land development disproportionately exceeds the rate of population growth. And today's upstate sprawl is not your father's sprawl. It is not an aesthetic blight of generic neon strip malls, "ginormous" parking lots and roadways with so many turning lanes that young athletes are deterred from crossing.

It is far worse than that. Because today's sprawl is too often built with public debt that allows upstate developers to build big houses on large lots in what were, till yesterday, green fields.

Statistics tell us that the upstate New York counties are in deep trouble. A recent study of demographics from Cornell University's College of Human Ecology projects massive drops in the population of almost all the upstate counties (Saratoga and Ontario are among the exceptions) over the next 25 years.

The big six western and central New York counties -- Erie, Niagara, Monroe, Onondaga, Broome and Oneida -- will lose a total of 340,000 people out of a combined 2010 population of 2.6 million. Losses like those happening in our upstate rustbelt are not normal in most of the world.

Can an ever-shrinking population pay the bills for cities built for many more people than live there at present, even as they must pay the bills -- financing, operating, maintaining -- for all that new sprawled out suburban infrastructure? At the same time, that shrinking, aging population, facing higher tax rates and lower property values, must pay for all the needed services -- police, fire, health, education, road maintenance -- both in the hollowed out city and the inefficiently sprawled out countryside. They cannot do it. They just cannot make these ends meet. And that is why, already, Erie County needs a billion dollars in annual subsidies to make ends meet.

So, what can we do to contain the fiscal nightmare unleashed by New York state's subsidies for sprawl? Right now, legislators in Albany are considering the public infrastructure act, sponsored by Buffalo Assembly Member Sam Hoyt, Westchester County Senator Suzi Oppenheimer, and Brooklyn Senator Velmanette Montgomery. This bill would reform state spending on infrastructure, directing agencies to prioritize investments in existing town centers, main streets, and urban areas while de-emphasizing development on the far-flung exurban edges. The legislation has reached the ways and means committee in the Assembly and the finance committee in the Senate, with hearings in both houses scheduled for next week. If passed, it would put a check on runaway subsidies for sprawl and foster more walkable, compact growth -- a major win for the taxpayers of New York state, no matter where you live. 
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